Recently retired, Chair of the Governing Board at Wigan & Leigh College, Frank Costello has been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queens Birthday Honours List 2020. He had dedicated the last 20 years to the role of College Governor, and the last three of those as Chair.

During this tenure, the College has significantly increased the breadth of learning opportunities and qualifications available to young people, including the development of higher degree apprenticeships and extra provision for students with special educational needs.

During his period as Chair of the Governing Board the College has been transformed. It is now in the top 13% of further education colleges nationally for performance, was named Educate North's College of the Year in 2018 and achieved the highest student satisfaction rates in the Greater Manchester each year during his final three years.

Anna Dawe, Principal of Wigan & Leigh College, said: “I am thrilled for Frank and his family and am so proud that he has been recognised in this way. He has been a huge part of the College for many years and has acted as an exceptional role model for other governors. His dedication to the College community has been absolute and he has influenced greatly the positive impact the College has had on the lives of individuals.’

“His commitment to the Further Education sector is significant and this honour is a great tribute to him and his achievements.”

Frank said: “As the former Chair of Wigan and Leigh College, I am absolutely thrilled and humbled to receive this honour. Whilst recognising that it is a personal to me, I believe it also recognises the excellence of the College, and those who work hard to make it successful.

As the Chair I was fortunate enough to lead a very talented and committed Board of Governors, dedicated to creating opportunity for Students and generous in giving their time and expertise, so that others might benefit.

We were also well served by a small but excellent Executive Team, with gifted staff, ably led by Principal Anna Dawe, who sets the standard with her vision, drive and determination. Collectively, we created something very special for our Students and the wider community.

The College performs a vital role in making further and higher education accessible to the local community, and through it, transforming the lives and dreams of so many.

In my 20 years as a Governor, I enjoyed many highlights, but few compare to seeing the Parish Church packed with delighted Students, with their proud families and Tutors, gathered to receive their awards and degrees; all made possible through the College and its culture.

However, the College cannot achieve its ambitions alone, and I was always grateful for the support of the Council, the Combined Authority and a range of other Partners. It was my privilege to be part of this experience.”

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